How many times have we heard, us, the older generation talk about the good old days. Well I don’t think those times were so bad. We may not have had sanitation, microwaves, smart cars or a new outfit to wear every week but our expectations were simple.
We were happy to have a second hand bycicle for Christmas or a hand me down overcoat and if we were lucky enough to have a washing machine it was probably a twin tub.
I grew up in the 50’s and spent all my time outside on the farm and with my animals. I was lucky enough to have a pony and we had many farm cats. Mum reared chickens for the table and I learnt to pluck and dress one at a very early age. We had rabbits as well and we showed these. No driving miles to shows at the weekend, just put them in a travelling box and sent them on the train. The porters the other end would transport them to the show and then they were sent home with their prize cards. How exciting it was when they arrived and we saw what they had won.
I remember the first washing machine it was just a tub that you put hot water in and it had a rotor in the bottom which agitated the clothes and a ringer fitted on the top. We had no central heating but an open fire in the sitting room and paraffin heaters in the bathroom and bedroom. In one cottage the bathroom was a lean-to made of corrugated iron and you could sit in the bath and see the cows in the field through the cracks.
Even when I was first married in the early 70’s our wants were simple and I was given a second hand twin tub washing machine, cooked with a pressure cooker and had a black and white television.
Today it is not acceptable to start married life with hand me downs even the house has to be bought and a new one usually. Everyone has to have a holiday preferably abroad and the girls go clothes shopping every weekend.
Values have changed if only we could all take a step back and look at what we need and what we want and know how to make the right choice. Watching the television programme on living with the Amish shows how the simple life can be more satisfying and pleasurable, and how much those young people have learnt about life.